“I gave you fair warning: beware/of killa kids who don’t care” (Prodigy)

Let’s put it like this: Marc McKee is the equivalent of Che Guevara in skateboard world. He was the main character of a revolution in graphic design that turned into a cultural movement of worldwide proportions. Didn’t David kill Goliath in a battle that was totally unconventional? Same thing happened in the past when Steve Rocco, formerly a freestyle skater for Sims, a subsidiary of Vision skateboards, decided to fight the giants known as Santa Cruz or Powell Peralta. In 1989 he hired for World Industries (and later for Liberty, Blind,101 and other subsidiary companies) this talented guy named Marc McKee. A man that has one of the most priceless gifts ever: he can turn his thoughts into drawings. His production is kinda comparable to comics style, but he had an appeal to kids that was way stronger, kind of magical. Take controversial issues of the American Dream, violence, pot smoking, witty humour and put them all in a shaker and you’re starting to get the picture. Gone are the days of rebel conformity marketed by his competitors, Rocco was down to let Mark and Sean Cliver (the other World graphic designer) do their thing. Small runs of 300 decks per design filled with naked women, logo knockoffs, racial issues and whatever else Marc could do for the pleasure of shock value, filled the walls of skateshops at the time. Kids were fiending to get that Gabriel Rodriguez tee shirt with Jesus image. Same for that Fucked up Blind Kids serie. If you want to to know more about that era, Mark’s book “Warning: the art of Marc McKee” is giving you details and inside views of what he did, if the movie “The man that souled the world” wasn’t enough to get a glimpse of this sociocultural movement that came out uncontrolled and unexpected. I attended last week the expo of the presentation of Warning in Milan and it was like a flashback. Like that era is still alive inside me, gone but never forgotten. Thanks Marc. Thanks a lot, you gave us a dream that is somewhat stronger than reality. Last but not least thanks to the Blast! familia that put the event together at Bastard warehouse.

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